When Billboards Watch You

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Some of Quividi‘s marketing technologies carry a distinctly Big Brother vibe. Lately, the French company’s gotten attention for developing billboard software that uses cameras to gather demographic information about passersby. On the Media recently sat down with Quividi’s chief scientific officer, Paolo Prandoni, to learn how the signs work and gauge how creeped out we ought to be.

In the interview, Prandoni works hard to make the technology sound harmless. He assures listeners that the cameras never record images of people. He also observes that the software isn’t sophisticated enough to reveal much about a person–apparently, it can guess at gender and age based on an analysis of basic bodily features, but not much else.

Prandoni’s pretty sure that the static billboard will become obsolete. He thinks tools like Quividi’s will eventually allow marketers to tailor their content in reaction to the people moving through a space. Whether or not you buy his argument that Quividi technology is more or less benign, the technology is probably here to stay, and no doubt will continue to evolve. 

Image courtesy of cangaroojack, licensed under Creative Commons.

Sources: On the Media

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